I recently read a listing that said, "The nearly 10,000-square-foot property sits on all four property lines, a rarity in Chicago,"

Apparently this is a good thing, relating to land and property dispute, but what does this mean?

Link: http://curbed.com/archives/2015/08/18/chicago-luxury-real-estate.php


In most jurisdictions in the United States zoning laws require that the walls of the structure be setback from the property line. This represents the front, back, and side yards. The rules regarding the amount of setback can depend on which property line, the type of structure, and the height of the structure.

Apparently this structure was built before those zoning regulations, and it can't be modified because of the historic preservation laws. The structure extends all the way to the property line.

Is this a plus?

  • That appeals to some people, and doesn't appeal to others. No lawn can be viewed either way.
  • If the property next door is the same way, then you will essentially have a duplex like structure. The spreading of a fire could be an issue.
  • That is the maximum amount of "living space" that the building can have without going to additional stories. Of course you may not be able to build up with the historic preservation rules.
  • Speaking of historic preservation, some people like being limited by those rules, others avoid those types of properties.
  • Thank you for the detailed answer! Could you please expand, if its not a problem, on how this is advantageous / disadvantageous for the buyer of the property? – Code Whisperer Aug 19 '15 at 14:06
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    @itcouldevenbeaboat You don't have to cut any grass? – Kevin Aug 19 '15 at 14:27
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    @itcouldevenbeaboat There's no easement or right-of-way to worry about; the size of the lot can't be reduced to (for example) widen the road, because doing so would invade the physical structure. – Dan Henderson Aug 19 '15 at 14:34
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    @itcouldevenbeaboat: The Sotheby's listing notes that "The approximately 10,000 square foot home sits on all four property lines of this 48 x 125 lot, providing an incredible floor plan that could only be replicated on parcels of a much larger size." In other words, other houses with a similar amount of living space would require much more land (which might be impossible in a built-up area like Chicago.) – Michael Seifert Aug 19 '15 at 14:37
  • If you prefer indoor living and don't care to have private outdoor space, it's a more efficient way to spend your housing money. – user662852 Aug 19 '15 at 16:17

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